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Co-published by Strelka Press and Park Books, The New Normal publication encompasses the breadth, diversity, and intensity of activity that has taken place throughout the three-year project. From 2017–2019, The New Normal think-tank at Strelka Institute investigated the impact of planetary-scale computation on the future of cities in Russia, and globally.

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The work was conducted by ninety interdisciplinary researchers from thirty different countries and over forty faculty members, drawn not only from the field of architecture but also from the areas of computer science, philosophy, art, cinema, economics, and more. Projects ranged from short-form cinema and software design to proposals for new political systems and economic models. At stake for the work is not only what the urban future looks like, but also how it works; how it circulates ideas, value, and power. The twenty-two interlinked projects which were developed show how speculative urban design can move upstream in the decision-making processes.

This book includes all final research projects from the The New Normal program, a series of newly written essays by program director Benjamin H. Bratton which reflects on the questions posed and designs created by the think-tank, and a series of newly commissioned essays by faculty members.

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Benjamin H. Bratton

Nicolay Boyadjiev

Nick Axel


Julieta Aranda

Benjamin H. Bratton

Ben Cerveny

Keller Easterling

Yuk Hui

Lydia Kallipoliti

Geoff Manaugh

Lev Manovich

Vinca Kruk

Daniel van der Velden

Trevor Paglen

Robert Gerard Pietrusko

Patricia Reed

Marta Ferreira de Sá

Benedict Singleton

Stephanie Sherman

Anastassia Smirnova

Molly Wright Steenson

Liam Young


Air Kiss



Common Task














Standard Deviation


Tuda Syuda


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The New Normal


Benjamin H. Bratton, Nicolay Boyadjiev,
Nick Axel

Design and layout

PIN (Switzerland)


Paperback, 20×27 cm,
584 pages


Strelka Press, Park Books


Strelka Press,
ISBN 978-5-907163-08-9


Park Books AG,
ISBN 978-3-03860-220-0


Ivan Sorokin,


A new series by Strelka Press that paralleled The New Normal research.

The New Normal

Benjamin H. Bratton

The essay is part manifesto and part syllabus. “It lays out why we would undertake an urban design program with such a strong emphasis on emerging technologies and speculative philosophy; or conversely, why we would convene a think-tank on emerging technology and speculative philosophy that takes urbanism — Russian urbanism, in particular — as its assignment.” Benjamin H.Bratton

Digital Tarkovsky


Digital Tarkovsky is an extended poetic exploration of how our experiences of visual entertainment and time itself are changing in the era of the smartphone and near-constant connection. The essay applies the ‘slow’ cinematic art of Andrei Tarkovsky to our interaction with the digital, visual reality of screens and interfaces. Digital Tarkovsky is a way of tracing what cinema, storytelling and time mean in our platform-based world.

Medium Design

Keller Easterling

Medium Design treats space as an information system and a broad, inclusive mixing chamber for many social, political, technical networks. The essay is a provocation to invert some of our habitual approaches to problem solving, aesthetics and politics with regards to spatial practice. Rather than favoring declarations, right answers, objects or determinations, contemporary designers should learn to detect and manipulate the medium in which they are suspended and in which they change over time. To design medium is to manage the potentials and relationships between objects, the activity immanent in their organization... In other words, the disposition which makes some things possible and some things not.


Lev Manovich

AI plays a crucial role in the global cultural ecosystem. It recommends what we should see, listen to, read, and buy. It determines how many people will see our shared content. It helps us make aesthetic decisions when we create media. In professional cultural production, AI has already been adapted to produce movie trailers, music albums, fashion items, product and web designs, architecture, etc. In this short book, Lev Manovich offers a systematic framework to help us think about cultural uses of AI today and in the future. He challenges existing ideas and gives us new concepts for understanding media, design, and aesthetics in the AI era.

Photo of Architecture Without People

Coming soon

Architecture Without People

Liam Young

The most significant spaces in the world are now entirely empty of humans. The essay talks about landscapes filled with autonomous natives, where we are intruders in an architecture that has left us behind. The server farms, telecommunications networks, distribution warehouses, unmanned ports and industrialized agriculture that define the very nature of who we are today are at the same time places we can never visit.

Coming soon